Ministers concerned public sector pay deal could send ‘dangerous signal’

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

Some Government Ministers are concerned a new public sector pay deal will send a "dangerous signal" at a time when many people have suffered job losses and pay cuts.

The deal is due to be negotiated in the coming weeks with Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath eager to strike a new deal as planned, according to the Irish Examiner.

The current deal is due to expire in October, when 300,000 public sector workers will receive a 2 per cent pay rise in the sixth increase since January 2018.

Minister McGrath has told the Irish Examiner he would prefer a deal to be negotiated, amid other Ministers questioning whether the timing is right.

The certainty and stability that a new deal on public sector pay would bring could be an important ingredient in the recovery of our economy.

Mr McGrath said he believes “the certainty and stability that a new deal on public sector pay would bring could be an important ingredient in the recovery of our economy”.

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"There will be initial discussions at official level in the weeks ahead and I will keep Cabinet fully informed as things develop,” he said.

“The current pay deal is in place until the end of the year, and the Government has committed to honouring it.”

With the Government borrowing €30 billion this year, it has been suggested that any new pay deal would have to involve a pay freeze for a period of possibly up to a year, with an agreed roadmap for pay increases thereafter.

Discussions are ongoing within Cabinet.

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